Celanese Corporation (NYSE:CE) announced that its board of directors approved a new $1.5 billion share repurchase program. The new share repurchase authorization represents around 11% of the Celanese’s outstandingshares. The timing of the repurchases will be partly based on the closing of the recently proposed tow joint venture with Blackstone (NYSE:BX).
The company is on track with its $500 million share buyback commitment for 2017 and has already deployed $300 million in the first half of 2017. This would exhaust the existing $1 billion repurchase authorization put in place in 2015.
Celanese has outperformed the Zacks categorized Chemicals-Diversified industry over the last three months. The company’s shares have moved up 11% over this period, compared with roughly 7.7% gain recorded by the industry.
Celanese expects adjusted earnings per share to increase 8–11% in 2017. Advanced Engineered Materials is also expected to continue to grow offsetting the decline in tow earnings. The Acetyl Chain is anticipated to benefit from a volatile raw materials backdrop and the current industry environment is expected to improve profits as the year progresses.
Celanese’s strategic measures including cost savings through productivity actions are expected to lend support to its earnings in 2017. The company is also likely to gain from capacity expansion and growth initiatives like acquisitions. Moreover, Celanese remains focused on returning value to shareholders.
Celanese Corporation Price and Consensus
Zacks Rank & OtherStocks to Consider
Celanese currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
Some other top-ranked companies in the basic materials space are The Sherwin-Williams Company (NYSE:SHW) , Ternium S.A. (NYSE:TX) and Hitachi Chemical Company, Ltd. HCHMY. All three stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks Rank #1 stocks here.
Sherwin-Williams has expected long-term earnings growth rate of 11.4%.
Ternium has expected long-term earnings growth rate of 18.4%.
Hitachi Chemical has expected long-term earnings growth rate of 5%.
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